AK: Alaska guides busted for hunting black bears too quickly
August 14, 2013
Two Alaska guides and the Pennsylvania hunter who was their
client were charged with misdemeanors for black bear hunting the
same day airborne.
Alaska State Troopers say two
Matanuska-Susitna big game guides helped an Outside client illegally
harvest a black bear during the same day he flew into a hunting
On Aug. 12, troopers received a report of the illegal
harvest. Alaska Wildlife Troopers went to a hunting camp on the bank
of the Skwentna River, a river that Dena’ina Athabascans have fished
and hunted along for centuries.
After arriving at the
Skwentna River camp, troopers contacted 26-year-old Brian Babenzien
of Willow and 48-year-old Charles Keeter of Wasilla.
seasoned outdoorsman and his assistant were guiding Pennsylvania
resident Paul Kovacs, 54, who was also contacted by troopers. The
wildlife troopers’ investigation revealed the guides assisted Kovacs
in stalking and harvesting a black bear the same day that Kovacs
flew into the camp. It is against Alaska law to hunt or help someone
else take big game until 3 a.m. the day after hunters fly in, but
the law does not apply if they have flown on a commercial or
commuter airplane, according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
One of the guides realized hunting regulations had been broken
and self-reported the incident to wildlife troopers, said troopers’
spokesperson Beth Ipsen.
In 2011, legendary Alaska hunting
guide Joe Hendricks was slapped with 34 felonies for illegal hunting
charges. Hendricks' business guided big-game hunters to trophy
Brooks Range sheep and huge Kodiak Island grizzlies for more than
four decades before being charged. Hendricks was sentenced last
August and was ordered to pay $125,000 and barred from hunting or
guiding for 12 years. And one of his assistant guides was punished,
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